Who Are the Minions of War in the Black Caucus?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

For the first time in five years, “the Black Caucus was treated like royalty, rather than a nuisance, as is usual, at the White House.” The reason: Obama needs their votes to continue his rush to war against Syria. “If past voting behavior is a guide, the majority of the Caucus is likely to put Obama’s political interests ahead of their constituents’ wishes and the welfare of humankind.”


Who Are the Minions of War in the Black Caucus?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Most Black legislators are desperately seeking a rationale to give the First Black President his license to kill.”

Susan Rice, the national security advisor who is more culpable than any current high government official in the genocide of 6 million Congolese since 1996, lectured the Congressional Black Caucus for 90 minutes at the White House on the virtues of unprovoked aerial aggression against Syria. President Obama, himself, attended the meeting for about an hour, making his pitch for a war that overwhelming numbers of Americans oppose - and that he would soon be forced to "postpone."

The Black Caucus has never been showered with such special attention in the almost five years that the Obama’s have resided on Pennsylvania Avenue. The CBC can’t get the time of day from Obama when it comes to jobs, foreclosure relief, or the sacrifice of Detroit on the alter of austerity. But when the commander-in-chief needs votes for what may go down as the most unpopular war in modern U.S. history, he summons his dutiful Negroes from out of the fields of irrelevancy, to the Big House, so that they might do their part for the maintenance of Empire.

Although slightly more Blacks favor Obama’s war plans than whites (Hispanics are the least belligerent on Syria), large majorities of Americans of all ethnicities reject a missile strike. Most Black Caucus members played coy with the press as they exited the White House, in line with the gag order issued by CBC chairperson Marcia Fudge, last Friday. Kansas City Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who back in 2011 said Obama’s proposed “grand bargain” with the Republicans was a “Satan sandwich,” was most forthcoming to the media: “Everyone in the room wanted to say, we are with you, but simply could not.” There are good reasons, embedded in the congressional record, to believe that Cleaver will say no to Obama’s Syrian war if the matter ever comes to a vote.

He summons his dutiful Negroes from out of the fields of irrelevancy, to the Big House, so that they might do their part for the maintenance of Empire.”

However, most Black legislators are desperately seeking a rationale to give the First Black President his license to kill. “I’m still in the undecided category,” said a lying G.K. Butterfield, of North Carolina, one of the most pro-corporate and militaristic members of the Caucus, who will surely give the president whatever he asks for. James Clyburn, the South Carolina congressman who angrily charged that Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations were part of a partisan plot to embarrass Obama, displayed little emotion as he returned to Capitol Hill. The president “made a good case for his issue,” said Clyburn. “There is nothing missing — it’s all about the politics of it, for me anyway.” It was almost possible to feel sorry for Baltimore’s Elijah Cummings, who seemed genuinely agonized at having to choose between his constituents’ pro-peace views and his fealty to the president. “I want him to be successful,” said Cummings, “but as I said before, I can disagree with him and still admire him and support him.” Which provides no clue as to what Cummings will do. For that, one needs to examine the lawmakers’ legislative histories.

Chairperson Fudge, who believes it is better to be silent when contemplating aggressive war in defiance of the will of one’s constituents, fairly jumped at the prospect of avoiding a vote on Syria. She was “hopeful” that the Russian-Syrian proposal to turn the Assad regime’s chemical weapons over to neutral authorities for possible later destruction “is something that is going to move forward.” But, barring that option, Fudge is clearly hoping that Obama sways the Congress to war. If the president can “make the case to the American public…he has a very good shot at getting the support in Congress. If he doesn’t, I think it’s going to be a very difficult road ahead.”

Fudge is clearly hoping that Obama sways the Congress to war.”

Which is why the Black Caucus was treated like royalty, rather than a nuisance, as is usual, at the White House. Just as the votes of 14 Black Caucus members saved Obama’s NSA spies from a cutoff in funds, back in July (See “The Obscene 14 House NSA Negroes,” BAR, July 31), the 41 voting members of the CBC are in a position to rescue Obama’s war policies from ignominious domestic defeat. If past voting behavior is a guide, the majority of the Caucus is likely to put Obama’s political interests ahead of their constituents’ wishes and the welfare of humankind.

The roll calls of three bills tell the tale: The July 24, 2013 vote to reject an amendment to defund the NSA’s collection of phone data on Americans, which was narrowly defeated, 217-205; the December 14, 2011 House passage (283-136) of President Obama’s preventive detention bill (NNDA); and, most revealingly, the 148-265 defeat, on June 3, 2011, of Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s measure calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Libya, which by then had become largely a race war against dark-skinned Libyans and foreign workers.

The Libya Warmongers (20)

Fully half of the full-voting members of the CBC supported the U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign that killed thousands of Libyans and led to the murder of Muammar Gaddafi and regime change. The 20 members are:

Terri Sewell AL

Karen Bass CA

Sanford Bishop GA

Hank Johnson GA

David Scott GA

Corrine Brown FL

Frederica Wilson FL

Andre Carson IN

Cedric Richmond LA

Elijah Cummings MD

Donna Edwards MD

Keith Ellison MN

Gregory Meeks NY

Mel Watt NC

G.K. Butterfield NC

Marcia Fudge OH

Chaka Fattah PA

James Clyburn SC

Eddie Bernice Johnson TX

Al Green TX

The Preventive Detention Advocates: NNDA (8)

Terri Sewell AL

Corrine Brown FL

Frederica Wilson FL

Sanford Bishop GA

David Scott GA

G.K. Butterfield NC

Al Green TX

Sheila Jackson-Lee TX

The Spy Lovers: NSA Surveillance (14)

Terri Sewell (AL)

Corrine Brown (FL)

Frederica Wilson (FL)

Sanford Bishop (GA)

Hank Johnson (GA)

David Scott (GA)

Robin Kelly (IL)

Donald Payne Jr. (NJ)

Gregory Meeks (NY)

G.K. Butterfield (NC)

Al Green (TX)

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)

Marc Veasey (TX)

The 24 Who Should Be Kicked Out the Door

There is an overlap of evil, of course. The 20 CBC members that supported Obama’s deceitful, unprovoked destruction of Libya cannot possibly harbor principled reservations about their president’s follow-through in Syria. In addition to this core of war mongers, Obama has firm supporters on the domestic repression front: Sheila Jackson-Lee TX, who voted to allow the military to indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial; and Robin Kelly (IL), Donald Payne Jr. (NJ), and Marc Veasey (TX), who stood with Obama to protect the NSA’s right to keep all of us under 24-7 surveillance. Total: 24 – a clear majority of the Black Caucus.

The 7 Worst of the CBC

These are the worthless lawmakers that sided with Obama on all three crucial votes.

Sanford Bishop GA

Corrine Brown FL

G.K. Butterfield (NC)

Al Green (TX)

David Scott (GA)

Terri Sewell (AL)

Frederica Wilson (FL)

Sanford Bishop is one of only four Black congresspersons that voted to give George Bush a free pass to invade Iraq, in 2002. The others have moved on to private life, but Bishop now has far more company in the Black Caucus than he did 11 years ago.

If Obama loses any of these “Seven Worst” Negroes, then he is truly doomed.

The logic of previous roll calls says Obama should be able to count on the same 20 Caucus members that backed him in Libya, plus four more members whose votes on other measures show that they share his enthusiasm for a world of war with no end. But it is also true that public opinion is stirring in unexpected ways, and seems to crave peace more than war. The impossible may yet happen.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].


To Be Fair

Many in the black caucus like Greg Meeks and Emmanuel Cleaver made statements to the media and issued press releases before, during, and after Martha Fudge's e-mail.  At least half of them, were with the other progressive Democrats in the House who were skeptical of the President's rationale for bombing Syria. Congressman Cleaver said he'd vote "No."  (http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/local_news/cleaver-id-vote-no-today-on-syria)  I know it's knee-jerk reaction to condemn the CBC in this type of situation, but it's really not fair or accurate to do so.  Sometimes, black leaders really do lead.

Track Actual Votes, Not Bullshit Quotes

Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. The 20 CBC members that voted to continue the bombing of Libya in 2011 should obviously be considered prime candidates to back an Obama strike on Syria, when it comes to the crunch. Cleaver was not part of the 20. Meeks, who has always been a corporate toady, was. So were such "progressives" as Donna Edwards, Elijah Cummings, Mel Wat, Karen Bass, and Andre Carson.

Hopefully, Obama will be forced to permanently "postpone" his overt attack on Syria, so that the CBC will not have to face its moment of truth. And Oraluk can continue to believe their bullshit statements, rather than track their actual votes.


Glen Ford

Every CBCer That Appears on any of these {s}Hit Lists Needs-

To have Their asses kicked [to the curb]. Those that appear on 2 of this lists need their asses kicked [to the curb] twice. And those that appear on all 3 lists need to have their asses [kicked to the curb] 3Xs!

They deserve no slack just cause their Black [or even a woman]. Just as O-Bomber has gotten far too much slack cause he's {1/2}Black. Yet O-Bomber shows little interest in the CBC- until he needs them to get on-board for some agenda he's pushing. Which explains why he has such thinly disguised disdain for Black people in general- even though Blacks are his most loyal constituency.   


PS RE Keith Ellison: As the co-chair of the so-called 'Progressive' Caucus & [at that time] the only Muslim member of congress, Ellison definitely needs to have his ass kicked [to the curb] for going along w O-bomber's [& ex colonial powers the UK & France] 8 month bombing assault on Libya- which unleashed that AL-CIAeda linked Racist Lynch mob on Black Libyans & African migrant workers there!

But Wait...There's More

There are several reports released over the last 2 weeks stating Sheila Jackson Lee is on the short list to replace Janet Napolitano as Director of the Department of Homeland Security. Do you understand at least part of Lee's motivation for voting for NNDA and NSA Surveilance ?

Reminds me of the Intro Gil Scott Heron gave to his poem on the King Alfred Plan, to refurbish US Japanese Internment Camps to house rounded up Black Activist. In Gil Scott Heron's words "there IS a place for you in America !"

I live in Marcia Fudge's district, and I KNOW most of her...

...majority Black constituents are against any kind of American military intervention in Syria. They are my friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Some of them have grown children in the military, and they sure as hell don't want yet another imperial war that could get their kids killed so Wall Street profiteers can benefit. 

My wife and I both sent her emails telling her that how she votes on this unnecessary and stupid war in Syria is OUR red line, and that we will not support her if she votes for it, period. And I'm sure we're not the only ones. 

When we tried to email her website, it kept crashing. Traffic must have been very heavy indeed. 

I'd also like to point out that that great white bastion of "progressivism" from Toledo, Marcy Kaptur, isn't any better. Her district includes the west side of Cleveland, from which Dennis Kucinich was gerrymandered out of his seat. She's a firm "undecided" on this war, which tells me she'll probably go along with it, too. And her constituents feel the same way about it as Marcia Fudge's do. 


Black People Aren't Dumb and Stupid No Matter What You Say!

Noodles,  I'm not going to try to pretend that the CBC is doing all it can to challenge Obama or to represent black people.  But, as this article starts off by saying that Obama has shut them out.  You couple that with the black & white media ability to tap into black people's desire for unity and their not wanting to hear any criticism of the 1st Black Prez and the CBC is in a no win situation.  It's not an excuse.  It's just the facts.   Most politicians lead from behind.  They go in the direction of their constituents and whereever their polls tell them to go.  That's why John Lewis endorsed Obama after previously endorsing Hillary Clinton or why the normally liberal firebrand Barbara Lee refused to challenge the Prez when she was CBC Chair.

Now, I realize it's in the BAR's financial interest much likes it's in FOX News, MSNBC, & conservative talk radio to create an echo chamber or an Amen Corner to increase its readership and ad sales & donations, but people need more than red meat in order to live.  You need to feed them with a balanced diet (perspective) of fruits and vegatables like giving positive examples/stories of black leaders or of those who have an opposing view.  There are 42 members of the CBC and by only mentioning only 20 of them you're being unfair and fostering cynicism among your readers.  A more balance perspective of the CBC's stance on Syria can be found in this audio link of Dr. Wilmer Leon's interview of Crew of 42's Lauren Victoria Burke.  (http://www.crewof42.com/featured/audio-inside-the-issues-w-dr-wilmer-leon-black-caucus-syria-and-gag-orders/)   Check it out if you're interested.  I think Maxine Waters has shown leadership.

If black people believed in unity at all costs like white people do like Asian people do, we certainly wouldn't have the internal problems we have today and racism wouldn't be as big as an obstacle as it is because we'd be strong enough internally to overcome it in most instances.  The situation with Obama is about firsts.   Obama is the 1st black Prez and black people are going to rally around him.  I don't think the 2nd or 3rd black Prez, if Amerikkka will elect another black Prez, will enjoy such support.  This point bears out truth as you see in cities that have routinely elected black mayors.  Black people don't really around every black mayor or mayoral candidate or vote in large numbers in DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, New Orleans, and everywhere else where blacks are a majority.  Look what happend to Adrian Fenty in DC.  Black people voted out a black politician who pissed them off.  So, it's not fair to tarnish black people with a black unity no matter what brush.  It's a racist lie.  Now, if you really want to be happy and make a difference, accept where our people are and move on.  You can oppose Obama without trashing black people.  You can get more flies with honey than vinegar.  You can get more people with you on whatever issue that ails black people if you don't attach Obama to it.  Otherwise, people are gonna harden their position and just tune you out.

The BAR did not coin the term "misleaders" although it acts like it did.  Marcus Garvey did.  So, give credit where credit is due. The BAR posits that black people have perenially been liberal progressives.  It posits that all black people prior to the emergence of the Corporate Black Politician in the 80s & 90s were anti-war.  Not true.  They even suggest that the Black Church and Black Christianity/religion really didn't play a role int the freedom struggle in the 50s, 60s, & early 70s.  This is totally false and ahistorical.  It would be more accurate to say that atheists, agnostics, and not so fundamentalist black Christians and Muslims played a significant part in the Civil Rights Movement (i.e. WEB DuBois and A. Phillip Randolph) and that the Black Church then and now is too conservative and resistant to change, socially or otherwise.  Glen Ford even mocked the Nation of Islam's mantra of "Do for self" when criticizing black entrepreneurship as method for black economic empowerment in favor of more targeted spending and government jobs for blacks on the part of the same government he criticizes as being racist.  Yeah, it makes alot of sense to seek help from the very institution that's harming you.   In July, Bruce claimed MLK's arrests were photo-ops and opportunities to write books and that Manning has suffered worse than all the thousands of black protesters who were arrested, beaten, raped, and killed in Southern jails in the '60s.  Niggro get over yourself!!!  I don't care how zealous are for your cause. You're not the smartest kid in the room!  How dare you slander our ancestors for the sake of couple of spoiled white boys!!!

Glen also criticized Dr. Ron Daniels and Jesse Jackson over their "Day of Action" March.   Hypocritically condemning them for having rallies rather than marches of civil disobedience.  What direct action or civil disobedience have the BAR and the Black is Back Coaliton engaged in recently?  What marches/rallies have you had on a week day?  What concessions have you won from corporations and governments?  What laws have you helped to pass; amend; or overturn?  You can't just talk shit.  "Don't talk about it; be about it!"

From the American Revolution to the Iraq War, millions of black men have volunteered to serve in the American military.  Blacks/Africans are very conservative not only in ideological terms but in terms of when to change and to take action.  We are just culturally conservative.  So, this is not a new phenomenon.  It might be more obvious in the Age of Obama, but it's not new.

What is true is that because we've been shutout and still are to a large degree shutout of American society we are more likely than whites and other groups to be distrustful of the govt and more likely to vocalize our opposition to some of the govt's policies particularly war but not always and not all of us.  Opposition to Racism is the basis for black unity in practice and that is the basis for "the Black Prophetic Tradition" that Dr. West talks about.  The reason we speak out so much against these 'isms is because they disproportinately affect us negatively not because we are so moral philosophically.  But, they were/are large swaths of blacks who existed/exist outside of this traditon and they are not necessarily good or bad because of it.  Just because the BAR is a socialist, atheist, leftist group at the forefront of black political reporting, doesn't give them the right to rewrite history in their own image.  Historical revisionism is a sin regardless who commits it.

Mr. Ford, I'm "shocked" that you would personally attack a reader. (That's bad business by the way.)  In the last 2 years, the BAR has become increasingly strident in its attacks on Obama specifically and black leaders/media figures/celebrities in general.  So much so, that it is losing perspective from believing too much of its own hype and is playing with the truth and that's dangerous.  If for no other reason, it harms your credibility.  I remember when Bruce Dixon went on Mark Thompson's "Make It Plain"  earlier this year and outright lied on the President. That he hadn't done anything for the black farmers and Atty. Pigford, who represents the black farmers and is a black farmer himself, refuted Bruce's allegations.  In another instance, Mark had to take him to task for his hypercriticism of the NAACP and other black organizations as has never done anything after Ben Jealous talked about restoring voting rights for Virginia's ex-cons and talked about Truth & Reconciliation Commission for the US on Amy Goodman's show.  Could the NAACP be doing more? Yes,  but Black socialists ain't the only ones doing something!  Omali Yeshitela of the Black is Back Coalition, why did you spend so much time trashing Al Sharpton in your speech on building a new black leadership instead of taking a page out of his playbook and learn how attract people to your movement?

Focus on "out organizing" him rather than criticizing him if indeed that's your goal.  Engaging in Nigger Shit is counterproductive especially when you're making appeals toward black unity.  People, black or otherwise, respond to good looking, prosperous, successful, charismatic, polished, and eloquent speakers and leaders.  You have to compete in "the marketplace of ideas" not just complain if you truly want to capture people's hearts and minds.   Not saying that you're not any of those things, but you've got to look the part if you want to play the part (of a leader.) Far too many black 'radical,' Pan-Afrikan organizations are just clubs for social misfits and deviants masquerading as protest groups.

Just cause we don't do it the way you would, doesn't mean we aren't doing something!   People like Mark Thompson and I actually like the BAR because it offers an alternative perspective.  (That's why he lets you on his show and why I have given you donations.) But, don't get it twisted!  Glen Ford & Co., y'all ain't the only black-left perspective let alone the only black perspective.  Now, you think about that the next time you think of personally attacking a reader and I'll think about your personal attack against me the next time you ask me for some money!

Correcting Oraluk

To correct (not attack) Oraluk:

The "quotes" in the blurbs that introduce each story are quotations of text in the story, not "people" or "sources." The purpose is to give the reader an idea of what the author is saying in the piece.  There are no quote marks around the text Oraluk refers to in the body of the story. The words are mine. This is the way every BAR article is introduced.

Glen Ford

Congressional Black Caucus

On 19 SEP 08, George Bush came on the world stage pleading for 700 billion dollars to save the stock market from crashing. Democrats will never go for that, I thought. The Democrats gave it to him on 25 SEP 08, a mere 6 days after he asked for it. Senator Barack Obama led the charge.  He persuaded many members of The Congressional Black Caucus to vote for the bailout of Wall Street.  How did that benefit their constituents?  How many jobs would 700 billion dollars have provided to their constituents?  Even if it was a good idea, it was impossible for Barack Obama to have evaluated it in 6 days.

After the way Bush treated African Americans during the hurricane "Katrina" aftermath, how could Barack Obama support anything by the Bush Administration so quickly?   When Barack Obama demonstrated his ability to get many members of The Congressional Black Caucus to vote for whatever he was pushing, that sealed the deal with Wall Street for his presidency.  Don't members of the CBC know they were elected to represent their constituents, and not to support Barack Obama when what he's proposing is clearly not in the best interests of their constituents.

In Sept 2008 the Obama Candidate- Stopped Campaigning-

To specifically lobby the CBC & the Dims to back the Bush-Paulson Wall St Bankster bail-out scheme [= scam]. The first effort failed w most Dem  & GOP congress members opposed- because most of their constituents, whether Dem or GOP, were over-whelmingly opposed. Obama left the campaign trail, something he failed to do on April 4, 2008 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of MLK's death [yet Billary & even {insane} McCain did 'take a pause for the cause'], just to rally the CBC & the Dims to pass Bush's & Paulson's very unpopular Bankster bail-out anyway. 

Wall Street bailout


In regard to the Wall Street bailout vote, it was the Republicans, and not the Democrats who stopped the first bailout.


Black Caucus members divided on bailout bill and those who voted for should be voted out of office

By Sinclere Lee

WASHINGTON (BNW) –It’s good to know what members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) voted for the bailout of the Fat Cats on Wall Street and who had the guts to stand with the people of America.

With the Black economy never taking hold, since after slavery … and white America having everything and Blacks nothing, how dare a Black vote for a bailout for Wall Street,when the streets in Black communities have gone to crap. It speaks volumes for any Black members of the Black Caucus who vote for this mess, and even worse for the Blacks who would continue to keep these fools in office.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus were divided on the proposed $700 billion bailout plan that failed in Congress Monday afternoon. A slight majority of CBC members voted against the plan, while a significant number voted in favor of the bailout.

In total, 21 members of the CBC opposed the bailout while 18 members supported it. The bill, called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, failed 228 to 205 in the House of Representatives on Monday. Black Caucus members were divided on bailout bill, and those who voted for should be voted out of office

Rep. Jesse Jackson called the bill "a tremendous improvement over the legislation proposed by the Bush Administration last week," but he voted against it because he said "it still falls short of what is needed to shore up the economy, protect taxpayers and promote economic growth."

"We have gone from Roosevelt's New Deal, to Reagan's Raw Deal, to Bush's Quick Deal," Jackson said in a statement. He said the American People are demanding a "fair deal."

The Illinois Democrat urged Congress to pass a modified bill that includes a new stimulus, a substantial investment in infrastructure and a program that helps keep taxpayers in their homes.

Of the 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, 39 are eligible to vote in the House of Representatives. Two members — Donna Christian-Christensen (USVI) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) — are delegates and cannot vote. The 42nd member is Barack Obama, a member of the U.S. Senate, which is expected to take up the bill later this week.

CBC members voting against the bailout plan (21): G.K. Butterfield, Andre Carson (IN), William Clay (MO), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), John Conyers (MI), Elijah Cummings (MD), Donna Edwards (MD), Al Green, Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), William Jefferson (LA), Hank Johnson (GA), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Donald Payne (NJ), Bobby Rush (IL), David Scott (GA), Robert Scott (VA), Bennie Thompson and Diane Watson (CA).

CBC members voting for the bailout plan (18): Sanford Bishop (GA), Corrine Brown (FL), Yvette Clark (NY), James Clyburn (SC), Artur Davis (AL), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Chaka Fattah (PA), Alcee Hastings (FL), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Kendrick Meek (FL), Gregory Meeks (NY), Gwendolynne Moore (WI), Charles Rangel (NY), Laura Richardson (CA), Edolphus Towns (NY), Maxine Waters (CA) and Mel Watt (NC).






Obama's minions

It's astonishing to me the way Damnocrats just ignore that Obama adds insult to injury! Speak of "Katrina", who did he put in charge of helping Haiti? The jackals Clinton and Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You gotta give him points for sheer nerve!